Some of the charges against the college student accused of a vehicular homicide were dropped in district court Thursday.Magisterial District Judge William Kraut agreed to drop five counts of aggravated assault against Jawaun Pessoa, 20, of Brentwood, N.Y., who crashed his car into an elderly couple's vehicle over Thanksgiving weekend.
The crash happened about 2:40 p.m. on Nov. 26, 2007, when Anthony Giunta's wife, Margaret Giunta, was driving with her husband southbound on Five Points Road, police said. She was attempting to turn into a driveway when Pessoa's vehicle hit the couple's car, police said.
Anthony Giunta, who was 88, died two days later from his injuries at Crozer-Chester Medical Center, police said. Margaret Giunta and Pessoa's three passengers suffered injuries. Pessoa was uninjured.
Assistant District Attorney Andrea Cardamone and Defense Attorney Rob Donatoni reached an agreement that included dropping all aggravated assault charges.
"The set guidelines for the aggravated assault charges are significantly higher than the other charges that remain," Donatoni said.
Donatoni said Pessoa faces three to 12 months in prison for the vehicular homicide charge.
Pessoa waived his right to a preliminary hearing. All other charges would be held over for Common Pleas Court. The remaining charges include homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, six counts of reckless endangerment and related traffic charges.
Police said the defendant's speed on the road was a significant factor in the crash. A police speed analysis showed Pessoa was driving 52 mph in a 25-mph zone, investigators said.
At the time of the crash, Pessoa was a student at Automotive Training Center in Exton.